February 17th, 2018

Load Winning Ammo With Progressive — Whidden Shows How

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anschutz

After the Berger Southwest Nationals, we had a long chat with John Whidden, five-time NRA Long-Range National Champion, and a past SWN Sling Division winner. When the subject turned to reloading techniques, John reminded us that he uses a Dillon progressive presss to load much of his match ammo — with a system for much more precise control over powder charge weight. Yes John loaded his national-championship winning .243 Win ammo on a progressive. That may not work for the benchrest game, but John proved this method works well for his discipline — long range sling shooting.

John full-length sizes his match brass every time using a Whidden click-adjustable sizing die. The powder charge is dispensed with single-kernel precision using an Auto-Trickler and lab-grade force restoration scale. The process is completed on a Dillon XL 650 to produce more ammo in less time.

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anschutz

Whidden’s .243 Win Ammo is Loaded on a Dillon
John Whidden of Whidden Gunworks used the .243 Winchester cartridge to win the 2017 NRA Long Range Championship, his FIFTH LR title. John loaded his .243 Win ammo using a Dillon: “My loading process is different than many people expect. I load my ammo on a Dillon 650 progressive press using our own Whidden Gunworks dies. However powder charges are individually weighed with a stand-alone automated scale/trickler system from AutoTrickler.com (see below). Employing a high-end force restoration scale, this micro-processor controlled system offers single-kernel precision. The weighed charges are then dropped into the cases with a funnel mounted to the Dillon head.”

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anschutz

John Whidden Explains His Ammo-Loading Process

The Lapua .243 Win brass is full-length sized every time, and I run one of our custom-sized expanders in my sizer die. The expander measures .243″ which yields the desired .001″ neck tension. In my experience, the best way to get consistent neck tension is to run an expander in the case neck at some point. When sizing the case neck by a minimal amount such as is the case here, I don’t find any negative points in using an expander in the sizer die.

Championship-Winning Load: Berger Bullets, Lapua Brass, and Vihtavuori N160
For a load, currently I’m shooting Lapua brass, PMC primers (Russian, similar to Wolf), VihtaVuori N160 single-base powder, and Berger 105 grain Hybrid bullets. I switched to the Hybrid bullets at the beginning of the 2015 season. Previously I shot the 105gr Berger hunting VLDs, and in testing I found that the Hybrids were just as accurate without having to seat the bullet into the lands. The velocity of this combination when shot through the excellent Bartlein 5R barrels (32” length) is around 3275 FPS.

For my match ammo, I seat the Berger 105 Hybrids well off the lands — my bullets are “jumping” from .035″-.060″. I only use one seating depth for ammunition for multiple guns (I know some benchrest shooters will stop reading right here!) and the bullets jump further in the worn barrels than in the fresh barrels. The bullets are pointed up in our Bullet Pointing Die System and are moly-coated. The moly (molybdenum disulfide) does extend the cleaning interval a little bit, probably 20% or so. The Lapua .243 Win brass is all neck-turned to .0125″ thickness.

In my experience, the keys to accurate long range ammo are top quality bullets and the most consistent neck tension you can produce. From these starting points, the use of quality components and accurate powder measurement will finish out the magic.

Great Ballistics with 6mm 105s at 3275 FPS
Running at an impressive 3275 FPS, Berger 6mm 105 grain Hybrids deliver ballistics that are hard to beat, according to John Whidden:

“My .243 Win shoots inside a 6.5-284 with 142-grainers. Nothing out there is really ahead of [the .243], in 1000-yard ballistics unless you get into the short magnums or .284s and those carry a very significant recoil penalty. In the past I did shoot the 6.5-284. I went to the .243 Win because it had similar ballistics but had much less recoil. It doesn’t beat me up as much and is not as fatiguing.

John Whidden .243 Winchester Win National Championship Long Range Reloading Caliber Barnard Action Anshutz

With the .243 Win, there’s no tensing-up, no anticipating. With the reduced recoil (compared to a 7mm or big .308), I can break and shoot very good quality shots. I find I just shoot better shots with the .243 than I ever did with the 6.5-284.”

John Whidden National Long Range Championship Camp Perry 2016 Wind Reading

Permalink Competition, Reloading Post comment »
February 17th, 2018

Hexagonal Boron Nitride (HBN) for Bullet Coating

hexagonal Boron nitride bullets

For years, many shooters have coated bullets with Moly (molybdenum disulfide) or Danzac (tungsten disulfide or “WS2″). The idea was to reduce friction between bullets and barrel. In theory, this could lengthen barrel life and extend the number of rounds a shooter can fire between cleanings.

hexagonal Boron nitride bullets

Moly and WS2 both have their fans, but in recent years, many guys have switched to Hexagonal Boron Nitride (HBN), another dry lubricant. The advantage of HBN is that it won’t combine with moisture to create harmful acids. HBN is very slippery and it goes on clear, so it doesn’t leave a dirty mess on your hands or loading bench. Typically, HBN is applied via impact plating (tumbling), just as with Moly.

Good Source for Hexagonal Boron Nitride (HBN)
Paul Becigneul (aka PBike in our Forum) has been using HBN for many years with good results. He obtains his HBN from Momentive Performance Materials:

HBM boron nitride source momentive hexagonal bullet coatingMomentive Performance Materials
www.Momentive.com

Sales Contact: Robert Bell
Sales Email: robert.bell [at] momentive.com
Sales Phone: Robert Bell, (980) 231-5404

HBN Results — Both on Bullets and Barrel Bores
Many folks have asked, “Does Hexagonal Boron Nitride really work?” You’ll find answers to that and many other questions on gunsmith Stan Ware’s popular Bench-Talk.com Blog. There Paul Becigneul (aka Pbike) gives a detailed run-down on HBN use, comparing it to other friction-reducers. Paul also discusses the use of HBN in suspension to pre-coat the inside of barrels. Paul observes:

We coated our bullets … how we had been coating with WS2. Now our bullets have a slightly white sheen to them with kind of like a pearl coat. They are so slippery it takes a little practice to pick them up and not drop them on the trailer floor. What have we noticed down range? Nothing different from WS2 other than the black ring on your target around the bullet hole is now white or nonexistent. Our barrels clean just as clean as with WS2. Your hands aren’t black at the end of the day of shooting and that might be the most important part.

Interestingly, Becigneul decided to try a solution of HBN in alcohol, to pre-coat the inside of barrels. Paul had previously used a compound called Penephite to coat the inside of his barrels after cleaning. Paul explains:

If Penephite was used because it was slippery wouldn’t HBN be better? … We called Momentive again [our source for HBN], and talked about mixing HBN and 90% alcohol for a suspension agent to pre-lube our barrels. He though it sounded great but that the AC6111 Grade HBN would be better for this use. It would stand up in the alcohol suspension and cling to the barrel when passed through on a patch. We got some and mixed it in alcohol 90%. We use about one teaspoon in 16 ounces of alcohol.

We started using it this fall and what we have noticed is that now that first shot fired out of a clean and pre-lubed barrel can be trusted as the true impact point. We use tuners so now I got to the line, fire two shots judge my group for vertical, adjust the tuner as needed or not, and after tune has been achieved go to my record targets. This use has saved us in time at the bench and bullets in the backstop.

You really should read the whole article by Becigneul. He discusses the use of barrel lubes such as Penephite and “Lock-Ease” in some detail. Paul also provides links to HBN vendors and to the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the various compounds he tested.

Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
February 17th, 2018

Howa 1500-Series Rifles for National Rifle League

Howa 1500 Factory Rifle sponsor

Here’s important news for tactical shooters. There’s a rival to the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), the National Rifle League (NRL). And now the NRL has a major rifle sponsor — Howa. This Japanese rifle-maker will support the NRL’s 2018 season as Official Factory Rifle Sponsor. Good choice. We’ve shot Howa 1500-series rifles, and we know they offer excellent performance for the price. You can buy a complete Howa tactical rig, such as the KRG Bravo, or get a barreled action and put it into a variety of third-party modular stocks. Plus Criterion Barrels now offers Pre-Fit barrels in a variety of chamberings for Howa 1500 actions.

Howa 1500 Factory Rifle sponsor

For 2018, the NRL will host 15 Precision Rifle matches, and the NRL 2018 Championships will be on October 19th – 21st in Idaho. There Howa will provide valuable prizes for top competitors. CLICK HERE for more information on the NRL 2018 match schedule.

Howa 1500 hact 2-stage triggerNational Rifle League Upcoming Spring Matches

Absolute Zero Sniper Match
North Carolina, February 23-25, 2018

Bighorn Steel Classic
Nebraska, March 2-4, 2018

Monster Lake Mayhem
Wyoming, April 6-8, 2018

Owen’s Armory Battle Royale
Arizona, April 27-29, 2018

JC Steel Target Challenge
Washington, May 4-6, 2018

Silent Night by Butch’s
Oklahoma, May 25-26, 2018

Howa 1500 Factory Rifle sponsor

Howa 1500 Rifles and Actions — Good Stuff
Howa Machinery has been exporting sporting rifles for more than four decades since its first unit shipped in 1967. The Howa Model 1500 boast a smooth-running action and a fine two-stage HACT trigger (that’s a lot better than the standard trigger in most other factory rifles). For 2018, Howa is moving into the tactical/practical Precision market with a full line of competition ready rifles.

Howa 1500 Factory Rifle sponsor

“We are very excited to be a part of the National Rifle League for 2018. We had the opportunity to be a part of a few matches in 2017 and the response was amazing. We view the NRL as an opportunity to connect with precision rifle shooters all around the country and share our passion for bolt-action rifles and the competition camaraderie.” Stated Mathew Hornback of Howa USA.

Howa 1500 Factory Rifle sponsor

Travis Ishida, NRL President, noted “how capable these Howa rifles are for our style of shooting. The new Howa competition-ready rifles offer a sub-MOA guarantee out of the box[.] I am truly excited to have Howa supporting the NRL and to see them perform this year.”

Permalink New Product, Tactical 2 Comments »
February 16th, 2018

Reloading Tip: Bullet Bearing Surface and Pressure

USAMU Bullet Ogive Comparision Safety Reloading
Photo 1: Three Near-Equal-Weight 7mm Bullets with Different Shapes

TECH TIP: Bullets of the same weight (and caliber) can generate very different pressure levels due to variances in Bearing Surface Length (BSL).

Bullet 1 (L-R), the RN/FB, has a very slight taper and only reaches its full diameter (0.284″) very near the cannelure. This taper is often seen on similar bullets — it helps reduce pressures with good accuracy. The calculated BSL of Bullet 1 was ~0.324″. The BSL of Bullet 2, in the center, was ~0.430”, and Bullet 3’s was ~ 0.463″. Obviously, bullets can be visually deceiving as to BSL!


This article from the USAMU covers an important safety issue — why you should never assume that a “book” load for a particular bullet will be safe with an equal-weight bullet of different shape/design. The shape and bearing surface of the bullet will affect the pressure generated inside the barrel. This is part of the USAMU’s Handloading Hump Day series, published on the USAMU Facebook page.

Beginning Handloading, Part 13:
Extrapolating Beyond Your Data, or … “I Don’t Know, What I Don’t Know!”

We continue our Handloading Safety theme, focusing on not inadvertently exceeding the boundaries of known, safe data. Bullet manufacturers’ loading manuals often display three, four, or more similar-weight bullets grouped together with one set of load recipes. The manufacturer has tested these bullets and developed safe data for that group. However, seeing data in this format can tempt loaders — especially new ones — to think that ALL bullets of a given weight and caliber can interchangeably use the same load data. Actually, not so much.

The researchers ensure their data is safe with the bullet yielding the highest pressure. Thus, all others in that group should produce equal or less pressure, and they are safe using this data.

However, bullet designs include many variables such as different bearing surface lengths, hardness, and even slight variations in diameter. These can occasionally range up to 0.001″ by design. Thus, choosing untested bullets of the same weight and caliber, and using them with data not developed for them can yield excess pressures.

This is only one of the countless reasons not to begin at or very near the highest pressure loads during load development. Always begin at the starting load and look for pressure signs as one increases powder charges.

Bullet bearing surface length (BSL) is often overlooked when considering maximum safe powder charges and pressures. In photo 1 (at top), note the differences in the bullets’ appearance. All three are 7mm, and their maximum weight difference is just five grains. Yet, the traditional round nose, flat base design on the left appears to have much more BSL than the sleeker match bullets. All things being equal, based on appearance, the RN/FB bullet seems likely to reach maximum pressure with significantly less powder than the other two designs.

Bearing Surface Measurement Considerations
Some might be tempted to use a bullet ogive comparator (or two) to measure bullets’ true BSL for comparison’s sake. Unfortunately, comparators don’t typically measure maximum bullet diameter and this approach can be deceiving.

Photo 2: The Perils of Measuring Bearing Surface Length with Comparators
USAMU Bullet Ogive Comparision Safety Reloading

In Photo 2, two 7mm comparators have been installed on a dial caliper in an attempt to measure BSL. Using this approach, the BSLs differed sharply from the original [measurements]. The comparator-measured Bullet 1 BSL was 0.694” vs. 0.324” (original), Bullet 2 was 0.601” (comparator) vs. 0.430” (original), and Bullet 3 (shown in Photo 2) was 0.602” (comparator) vs. 0.463” (original). [Editor’s comment — Note the very large difference for Bullet 1, masking the fact that the true full diameter on this bullet starts very far back.]

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 8 Comments »
February 16th, 2018

A Slice of (Barrel) Life — Inside Look at Barrel Erosion

So what does a “worn-out” barrel really look like? Tom Myers answered that question when he removed a 6.5-284 barrel and cut it down the middle to reveal throat wear. As you can see, there is a gap of about 5mm before the lands begin and you can see how the lands have thinned at the ends. (Note: even in a new barrel, there would be a section of freebore, so not all the 5mm gap represents wear.) There is actually just about 2mm of lands worn away. Tom notes: “Since I started out, I’ve chased the lands, moving out the seating depth .086″ (2.18 mm). I always seat to touch. My final touch dimension was 2.440″ with a Stoney Point .26 cal collet.”

Except for the 2mm of wear, the rifling otherwise looks decent, suggesting that setting back and rechambering this barrel could extend its useful life. Tom reports: “This was something I just thought I’d share if anyone was interested. I recently had to re-barrel my favorite prone rifle after its scores at 1,000 started to slip. I only ever shot Sierra 142gr MatchKings with VV N165 out of this barrel. It is a Hart and of course is button-rifled. I documented every round through the gun and got 2,300 over four years. Since I have the facilities, I used wire EDM (Electro Discharge Machining) to section the shot-out barrel in half. It was in amazingly good shape upon close inspection.”

Tom could have had this barrel set back, but he observed, “Lately I have had to increase powder charge to maintain 2,950 fps muzzle velocity. So to set it back would have only increased that problem. [And] I had a brand new 30″ Krieger all ready to screw on. I figured it was unlikely I’d get another full season on the old barrel, so I took it off.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 6 Comments »
February 15th, 2018

Quarter-MOA, Half-MOA? How Much Precision Is Really Enough?

Jim See Elite Accuracy
This impressive 15-round group was shot by Jim See of Elite Accuracy.

Different shooting disciplines demand different levels of precision/accuracy. In the rapid-fire 3-Gun game, you could probably “clean” most stages with a 2-MOA rifle. By contrast, in the short-range group benchrest game, to compete with the best, you’ll need a rifle that shoots in the “ones” (i.e. 0.1-0.19 MOA) in perfect conditions. In 1000-yard F-Class competition, the top shooters want a rifle that will hold one-third-MOA of vertical at that distance.

What is your standard of accuracy? How good is “good enough”. Jim See, a skilled gunsmith and successful PRS competitor, has answered that question for his tactical discipline. For the kind of matches Jim shoots, he likes to have a rifle that will hold half-MOA for five (5) shots, 3/4-MOA for 15 shots, and 1 MOA for twenty shots. Remarkably, Jim’s rifle can do that with factory ammo. Above is an impressive 15-shot group shot with .260 Remington Federal Premium Ammo.

Jim See Elite Accuracy

“I say it all the time, my loads need to print 5 under 1/2″, 10 under 3/4″, and 20 under 1″. It’s simple, if a hot barrel will keep 20 rounds fired in succession under my standard it will be a good barrel and load for Precision Match Shooting. Federal Premium Gold Metal Match .260 with Sierra bullets made the cut for me today. 15 consecutive shots under 3/4 MOA.” –Jim See

It’s said that you “can never have too much accuracy”, but there are acceptable standards for each discipline, and they’re not the same. A 100/200 yard Benchrest shooter will be sorely disappointed with a rifle/ammo set-up that can only deliver half-MOA. On the other hand, a PRS competitor like Jim See can achieve great success with a lesser degree of precision. This means you can save time and money. You can run your barrels longer between cleanings, and you don’t have to go “full OCD” when loading your ammo. The PRS shooter does not need to weigh-sort primers, or load powder to single-kernel standards. Proof is the performance. Jim See recently took third place at the Spearpoint Shootout, and he has been a podium finisher at other events. Learn more about Jim’s gunsmithing and training operations at EliteAccuracy.com.

Download This Load Development Target

Jim’s target seemed a bit familiar. AccurateShooter.com created this Diamond and Dot Target a few years back. On each aiming point, there are high-contrast black horizontal and vertical lines for aligning your cross-hairs. The gray circle lets you see the bullet impacts above, without obliterating the red diamond, which is quite useful for precise aiming (we put fine cross-hairs on the points of the diamond). This target sheet includes data entry tables below each of the three aim points. There are many other free targets out there, but this format is very popular. We’re pleased to see Jim using it. You can download this and dozens of other FREE Targets from the AccurateShooter.com Target Page.

AccurateShooter precision load development free target

Permalink Reloading 3 Comments »
February 15th, 2018

Shooting on a Spinning Planet — The Coriolis Effect

Whittington Coriolis Effect
Photo by Dustin Ellermann at Whittington Center Range.

The Coriolis Effect comes into play with extreme long-range shots like this (2100 yards at Raton, NM). The rotation of the earth actually moves the target a small distance (in space) during the long duration of the bullet’s flight.

Coriolis Effect Bryan Litz Applied BallisticsWhen you’re out at the range, the Earth seems very stable. But it is actually a big sphere zooming through space while spinning around its axis, one complete turn every 24 hours. The rotation of the earth can create problems for extreme long-range shooters. During extended bullet flight times, the rotation of the planet causes an apparent deflection of the bullet path over very long distances. This is the ballistics manifestation of the Coriolis Effect.

Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics discusses explains the Coriolis Effect in his Ballistics Books and Seminars. Bryan notes that Coriolis is “a very subtle effect. People like to make more of it than it is because it seems mysterious.” In most common shooting situations inside 1K, Coriolis is not important. At 1000 yards, the Effect represents less than one click (for most cartridge types). Even well past 1000 yards, in windy conditions, the Coriolis Effect may well be “lost in the noise”. But in very calm conditions, when shooting at extreme ranges, Bryan says you can benefit from adjusting your ballistics solution for Coriolis.

Bryan explains: “The Coriolis Effect… has to do with the spin of the earth. You are basically shooting from one point to another on a rotating sphere, in an inertial reference frame. The consequence of that is that, if the flight time of the bullet gets significantly long, the bullet can have an apparent drift from its intended target. The amount [of apparent drift] is very small — it depends on your latitude and azimuth of fire on the planet.”

Coriolis Effect Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics

Coriolis is a very subtle effect. With typical bullet BCs and velocities, you must get to at least 1000 yards before Coriolis amounts to even one click. Accordingly, Bryan advises: “Coriolis Effect is NOT something to think about on moving targets, it is NOT something to think about in high, uncertain wind environments because there are variables that are dominating your uncertainty picture, and the Coriolis will distract you more than the correction is worth.”

“Where you could think about Coriolis, and have it be a major impact on your hit percentage, is if you are shooting at extended range, at relatively small targets, in low-wind conditions. Where you know your muzzle velocity and BC very well, [and there are] pristine conditions, that’s where you’re going to see Coriolis creep in. You’ll receive more refinement and accuracy in your ballistics solutions if you account for Coriolis on those types of shots. But in most practical long-range shooting situations, Coriolis is NOT important. What IS important is to understand is when you should think about it and when you shouldn’t, i.e. when applying it will matter and when it won’t.”

The Coriolis Effect — General Physics
The Coriolis Effect is the apparent deflection of moving objects when the motion is described relative to a rotating reference frame. The Coriolis force acts in a direction perpendicular to the rotation axis and to the velocity of the body in the rotating frame and is proportional to the object’s speed in the rotating frame.

A commonly encountered rotating reference frame is the Earth. The Coriolis effect is caused by the rotation of the Earth and the inertia of the mass experiencing the effect. Because the Earth completes only one rotation per day, the Coriolis force is quite small, and its effects generally become noticeable only for motions occurring over large distances and long periods of time. This force causes moving objects on the surface of the Earth to be deflected to the right (with respect to the direction of travel) in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. The horizontal deflection effect is greater near the poles and smallest at the equator, since the rate of change in the diameter of the circles of latitude when travelling north or south, increases the closer the object is to the poles. (Source: Wikipedia)

Permalink Shooting Skills, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
February 15th, 2018

Save with 2018 Rebates on Guns and Gear

Gun gear reloading rebate optics burris

There a number of good rebate programs going on right now, but some conclude in just a few weeks. To take advantage of these deals you’ll need to start your shopping soon. Here are some current Rebate Programs for rifles, loading equipment, and shooting accessories. You can save up to $125.00 with these direct Rebate offers, or you can get bullets worth over $175.00 (500 count). The RCBS promo runs through 2/28/2018, while the Browning and Winchester rebates go through 3/31/2018. Hornady’s Get Loaded promotion is good all year

1. Browning Sales Tax Event — 10% Rebate

Browning Spring 2018 Sales Tax Rebate

When you buy a new Browning firearm at retail between February 1 and March 31, 2018, you can receive a rebate of 10% of the purchase price to reimburse you for your state sales tax. This applies to a wide range of Browning firearms including rifles, shotguns, and pistols. All purchasers must be citizens or legal residents of the United States

Start Date: February 1, 2018
End Date: March 31, 2018
Redemption Deadline: April 15, 2018

Get Rebate Form HERE
NOTE: Browning Rebates must be Redeemed Online

2. RCBS February 2018 Bucks or Bullets Promotion

Rcbs bucks bullets promotion Spring 2018 Rebate

Get Bucks or Bullets with purchase of Qualifying RCBS Products. This offers buyers a choice of money or bullets. You get a $10 Prepaid Card or 100 Free Bullets with: Qualifying Die Sets, Hand Priming Tool, Universal Hand Priming Tool, Trim Mate Case Prep Center, or a M500 Mechanical Scale. Alternatively, you can get a $50 Prepaid Card or 500 Free Bullets with: Rock Chucker Supreme Kit, Universal Case Prep Center, Explorer or Explorer Plus Kits, Pro Chucker 5 or 7, or an Ultrasonic Case Cleaner 2.

Start Date: February 1, 2018
End Date: February 28, 2018
Redemption Deadline: March 31, 2018

Shop Qualifying Items HERE
Get Rebate Form HERE

3. Winchester Spring Warm-Up Rebates

Winchester Spring 2018 Rebate

Here’s a great deal if you are looking for a new hunting rifle. Purchase any NEW Winchester XPR rifle and receive $75 via mail-in rebate. With this promotion, you can buy a new XPR for just $264.99 after rebate. You can also save $25, $50, or $100 on qualifying Winchester shotguns.

Start Date: February 1, 2018
End Date: March 31, 2018
Redemption Deadline: April 15, 2019

See Qualifying XPR Rifles HERE
Submit Rebate HERE

Hornady Get Loaded 2018 Rebate

Hornady Spring 2018 Rebate

Receive 100 or 500 Free Bullets when you purchase select Hornady Products. The 500 Free Bullets (worth up to $181.05) are available with purchase of one of these Lock-N-Load® products: Iron Press Kit, Classic Kit, Classic Kit Deluxe, Classic Kit with Auto Charge, Ammo Plant, AP Press, Case Prep Center, Deluxe Control Panel, or Hot Tub® Sonic Cleaner. NOTE: Hornady requires you to pay for return shipping on the bullets. You must submit a check for the shipping with your rebate form. No check, no bullets — got it?

Start Date: January 1, 2018
End Date: December 31, 2018
Redemption Deadline: February 15, 2019

Shop Qualifying Items HERE
Get Rebate Form HERE


RCBS Rebate Recommendation from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, News Post comment »
February 14th, 2018

New Birchwood Casey Metal Target Stands

Birchwood Casey Target Stand Metal base

Here are products that the vast majority of shooters can use and afford. Birchwood Casey has four new portable metal target stands that can work with both paper and steel targets. Most of these stands are used with conventional shooter-supplied wood target frames, so perhaps they are best considered “target stand bases”. These provide a strong, durable all-metal base that is easily transported. All these new Birchwood Casey Target Stands have a $40.00 MSRP, with typical $30 street prices.

Birchwood Casey Target Stand Metal base

The Universal Gong Nested Stand uses standard 2×4 lumber for an upright and works well in conjunction with the Birchwood Casey 2-in-1 Gong Target Hanger to mount any metal target. The stand measures 20.5” wide x 20” deep and is 5” high.

Birchwood Casey Target Stand Metal base

The Swivel Leg Target Stand has two legs that swivel out at a 90° angle to the target holder for stability. The stand measures 21” wide x 4.5” high and the legs are 17” long. It uses standard dimension 1”x2” lumber for uprights. This is a good choice to hold wood frames with large paper targets.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Gear Review Post comment »
February 14th, 2018

Multi-Gun Fun — NRA Outdoors 3-Gun Training School

3-Gun tools ar shotgun pistol holster belt

This story appears courtesy NRABlog.com.
Looking to get started in Multi-Gun competition? The NRA Outdoors 3-Gun School is a two-day course covering all the skills you’ll need to compete in the 3-Gun game. The course, hosted at Peacemaker National Training Center in West Virginia, provides hands-on training for pistol, rifle, and shotgun. Participants experience a fast-paced mix of lessons and firing drills, including actual 3-Gun stages. For 2018, two sessions are scheduled: April 21-22, and June 16-17, 2018.

NRA Outdoors 3-gun School Class WV Peacemaker

Video Shows Highlights from NRA Outdoors 3-Gun School Training Sessions:

You don’t even have to bring guns or load your own ammo. The NRA Outdoors 3-Gun School includes everything you need with the $1600.00 price of admission. You don’t need to bring any guns, ammunition or gear! The NRA Outdoors 3-Gun School provides all firearms, ammo and equipment used for the course, including Armalite AR-pattern rifles, Benelli shotguns customized by Hayes Custom Guns, SIG Sauer pistols, and Vortex Optics.

3-Gun Comps — What the Multi-Gun Game is All About
Most 3-Gun matches consist of 8 to 12 stages, with shooters engaging as many as 35 targets per stage. You’ll shoot at paper silhouettes as close as 10 feet away, and steel targets as far out as 600 yards. Time is of the essence — all stages are “on the clock”. You’re racing from station to station, your synapses firing as your transition from shotgun to rifle to pistol, close to long range, around corners, and over barriers.

3-Gun Match

You’ll encounter spinner wheels, swinging bowling pins and zooming clay pigeons, all while rushing through and around a bevy of walls, barrels, windows and even vehicles. Some 3-Gun matches are shot at night (see above), where the artificial illumination creates an entirely different set of challenges.

How to Participate
You can register now for the NRA Outdoors 3-Gun School. The first class of the year is scheduled for April 21-22, 2018, with another session later in mid-June. If you’re interested, register soon — these programs fill quickly.

NRA Outdoors 3-gun School Class WV Peacemaker

CLICK HERE for more information about the NRA Outdoors 3-Gun School. Learn about other training courses by visiting the NRA Outdoors website or call (844) 672-6883.

NRA Outdoors 3-gun School Class WV Peacemaker

Hardware for 3-Gun Competition — Guns & Gear
In this NSSF video, Top Shot Finalist Chris Cerino reviews the hardware you’ll need for multi-gun matches. Chris talks about carbine configurations — including barrel, handguard, and optics options. Cerino also demonstrates pistol techniques and explains the key features of a belt/holster rig.

Permalink - Videos, Competition Post comment »
February 13th, 2018

Remington Pursues Bankruptcy to Reduce Massive Debt

Remington Outdoor Company files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Cerberus Equity J.P. Morgan

Remington Outdoor Company Inc. (Remington) will file for Bankruptcy in the Delaware Federal Court. The North Carolina-based company is pursuing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy to reduce its $950,000,000 in debt. According to Reuters, Remington hopes to work out an agreement with its creditors to write off about $700 million in debt obligations. That would permit Remington to sustain manufacturing operations and retain most of its work-force. In announcing the Bankruptcy filing, Remington executives stated that the company will continue to operate as usual during the bankruptcy proceedings.

(Reuters) – Remington Outdoor Company Inc., one of the largest U.S. makers of firearms, said on Monday it had reached a deal with its creditors to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to slash its $950 million debtload. Remington said it will receive $145 million in bankruptcy financing to fund the company through the Chapter 11 process.

Cerberus Will Yield Control of Remington to Creditors
If the pending deal with creditors goes through as planned, Cerberus, the private equity group that currently controls Remington, will lose ownership of the company. Through the bankruptcy, according to Reuters: “the company’s creditors, which include Franklin Templeton Investments and J.P. Morgan Asset Management, will exchange their debt holdings for equity in the company.”

Two months ago, AccurateShooter.com noted that Remington was considering Bankruptcy. Our report noted that an earnings decline left Remington few options. In early December, Fox News reported: ““The rifle and shotgun manufacturer’s third-quarter sales plunged 41% as demand for firearms dried up. That led Remington to report adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization that were 78% lower year over year. Over the first nine months of 2017, the company has produced a $60.5 million net loss, compared to a $19.1 million gain in the prior-year period. And with its credit rating in the trash bin, the future is bleak for ‘America’s oldest gunmaker’. Today, debt on the company’s books has ballooned to almost $1 billion[.]”

Remington Has a Storied History
Founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in New York, Remington is the oldest continuously-operating gun manufacturer in the United States. Even with its present difficulties, Remington still sells more sporting rifles and shotguns than any other American company. Remington has developed more cartridges than any other U.S. company. And it is the only American company that sells firearms AND ammunition under its own name.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 13 Comments »
February 13th, 2018

Tall Target Test — How to Verify Your Scope’s True Click Values

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

Have you recently purchased a new scope? Then you should verify the actual click value of the turrets before you use the optic in competition (or on a long-range hunt). While a scope may have listed click values of 1/4-MOA, 1/8-MOA or 0.1 Mils, the reality may be slightly different. Many scopes have actual click values that are slightly higher or lower than the value claimed by the manufacturer. The small variance adds up when you click through a wide range of elevation.

In this video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics shows how to verify your true click values using a “Tall Target Test”. The idea is to start at the bottom end of a vertical line, and then click up 30 MOA or so. Multiply the number of clicked MOA by 1.047 to get the claimed value in inches. For example, at 100 yards, 30 MOA is exactly 31.41 inches. Then measure the difference in your actual point of impact. If, for example, your point of impact is 33 inches, then you are getting more than the stated MOA with each click (assuming the target is positioned at exactly 100 yards).

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

How to Perform the Tall Target Test
The objective of the tall target test is to insure that your scope is giving you the proper amount of adjustment. For example, when you dial 30 MOA, are you really getting 30 MOA, or are you getting 28.5 or 31.2 MOA? The only way to be sure is to verify, don’t take it for granted! Knowing your scopes true click values insures that you can accurately apply a ballistic solution. In fact, many perceived inaccuracies of long range ballistics solutions are actually caused by the scopes not applying the intended adjustment. In order to verify your scope’s true movement and calculate a correction factor, follow the steps in the Tall Target Worksheet. This worksheet takes you thru the ‘calibration process’ including measuring true range to target and actual POI shift for a given scope adjustment. The goal is to calculate a correction factor that you can apply to a ballistic solution which accounts for the tracking error of your scope. For example, if you find your scope moves 7% more than it should, then you have to apply 7% less than the ballistic solution calls for to hit your target.


CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD Tall Target Worksheet (PDF) »

NOTE: When doing this test, don’t go for the maximum possible elevation. You don’t want to max out the elevation knob, running it to the top stop. Bryan Litz explains: “It’s good to avoid the extremes of adjustment when doing the tall target test.I don’t know how much different the clicks would be at the edges, but they’re not the same.”

Should You Perform a WIDE Target Test Too?
What about testing your windage clicks the same way, with a WIDE target test? Bryan Litz says that’s not really necessary: “The wide target test isn’t as important for a couple reasons. First, you typically don’t dial nearly as much wind as you do elevation. Second, your dialed windage is a guess to begin with; a moving average that’s different for every shot. Whereas you stand to gain a lot by nailing vertical down to the click, the same is not true of windage. If there’s a 5% error in your scope’s windage tracking, you’d never know it.”

Scope Tall Test level calibrationVerifying Scope Level With Tall Target Test
Bryan says: “While setting up your Tall Target Test, you should also verify that your scope level is mounted and aligned properly. This is critical to insuring that you’ll have a long range horizontal zero when you dial on a bunch of elevation for long range shots. This is a requirement for all kinds of long range shooting. Without a properly-mounted scope level (verified on a Tall Target), you really can’t guarantee your horizontal zero at long range.”

NOTE: For ‘known-distance’ competition, this is the only mandatory part of the tall target test, since slight variations in elevation click-values are not that important once you’re centered “on target” at a known distance.

Permalink Optics, Tech Tip Post comment »
February 13th, 2018

Through the Looking Glass — 6.5 Guys Review New Optics

New Optics scopes Nikon Revic LRF rangefinder

In the highly competitive optics market, technology is always advancing. This year, we’ve seen some significant innovations in high-end scopes, plus improved features in more affordable, sub-$1000 optics. The new American-made Revic PMR 428 scope features a built-in ballistic calculator employing a micro-processor and multiple on-board sensors. This really represents a major step forward in “smart” optics. Fans of high-technology should check it out. Or, if value is paramount, for less than one-third of the price of the Revic, you can get a new Nikon FX1000 series scope. The 6-24x50mm model offers very impressive features for under $800 — a bargain these days.

Revic Optics Scope Has Built-In Computer and Ballistics Solver

New Optics scopes Nikon Revic LRF rangefinder

New Optics scopes Nikon Revic LRF rangefinder

Ever wish your riflescope could calculate windage and elevation and display the shooting solution directly in the scope image? Well check this out — the new Revic PMR 428 scope is one of the most advanced optics ever offered to the public. The Revic has a micro-processor inside, plus sensors for temperature, air pressure, incline and cant (around bore axis). After the shooter inputs wind speed and direction, this allows the scope itself to indicate the correct windage and elevation corrections, plus adjust for shot angle. This really is a Big Deal, and we expect other top-end optics makers to follow suit in the years ahead. Right now Revic offers one 4-28x56mm PMR 428 Smart Scope for $2750.00. In this video, Steve Lawrence of 65Guys.com reviews the capabilities of the ground-breaking Revic PMR 428.

Impressive New Products from Nikon at Great Prices

New Optics scopes Nikon Revic LRF rangefinder

Jeremy Bentham, a Precision Rifle Series competitor, joined Nikon a year ago as a marketing manager. With his help, Nikon is making inroads into the Precision Rifle market with impressive products at very competitive prices. Here Steve chats with Jeremy about the latest offerings from Nikon, which recently celebrated its 100-year Anniversary. Jeremy presents Nikon’s new products for the tactical/practical market: 1) Stabilized Laser Rangefinder; 2) All-New FX1000 Tactical Scopes in 4-16X and 6-24X, with both MIL and MOA versions and optional illumination. The rangefinder is impressive — it eliminates 80% of perceived shake and also offers built-in angle compensation plus extended ranging capability. The new scopes are priced attractively — under $800. Bentham designed the new reticles which are clear and easy-to-use. These optics feature “high-speed” turrets (10 Mil or 25 MOA) with nice, tactile clicks. The 4-16x50mm model is $649.95 while the 6-24x50mm is $799.95 MSRP. These represent outstanding value for a big name, life-time warranty product.

U.S. Optics Offers B17 and B25 Scopes for Tactical Applications

The 6.5 Guys also checked out the new products from U.S. Optics. For 2018, U.S. Optics is featuring two impressive tactical scopes, the B17 and B25. Ed Mobley of 65Guys.com talks with Jake Vibbert of U.S. Optics. Jake explains that his company offers a wide variety of options, with both MOA- and Mil-based reticles. The B17 and B25 both feature a 34mm main tube, which helps deliver greater elevation adjustment. These B-series scopes offer a fast-focus eyepiece, and a true “tool-less” zero-set option. That’s a nice feature — you don’t have to find an Allen wrench in the middle of a competition.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Optics 3 Comments »
February 13th, 2018

National Records Now Recognized for CMP’s Travel Games Events

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program Travel Match Record

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will now be recognizing National Records attained at CMP Travel Games events. Now, outstanding scores will be recorded in the record book for all CMP Travel Games matches. The current listed National Record scores were established after compiling top scores from the following Games events and years:

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program Travel Match RecordOklahoma: 2012-2017
Eastern Games: 2007-2017
Talladega D-Day: 2015-2017
New England: 2016-2017
Western Games: 2005-2017
Talladega 600: 2015-2017

To view the new Travel Games National Records standards, click this link:

CMP Games Competition Rules

Special Travel Games National Record Certificates will be sent to the competitors that currently hold the Overall Travel Games National Records, with additional certificates awarded to those who break records in the future.

National Record scores for each individual match are listed under the match’s results in CMP’s Competitor Tracker – used to display result scores for Travel Games events. A full list of Overall National Records can be found by visiting the CMP Travel Games Homepage.

Permalink Competition, News Post comment »
February 12th, 2018

Berger SW Nationals 2018 — Looking Back at a Great Event

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher

The 2018 Berger SW Nationals are now history. The fun, action, challenges, and rewards now pass into memories. Once again, the Berger SWN was a great shooting match — a great way to advance your shooting skills, reconnect with old friends, and enjoy warm weather. If you are a serious long-range shooter, this is definitely one of the best-managed, most rewarding matches on the planet. In 2018 the match “sold out” in a matter of hours. If you plan to go next year, watch for the registration notices. You don’t want to be left out.

Berger Southwest Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Capstone

2018 Berger Southwest Nationals Long Range Results

The SWN has three new individual champions. Congratulations to the three divisional Match Winners: Bob Sebold (F-Open), Phillip Kelley Jr. (F-TR), and Allen Thomas (Sling).

Top Five Overall – F-Open
Bob Sebold, 843-49X
Keith Glasscock, 843-38X
Jay Christopherson, 841-45X
Stephen Potter, 841-37X
James Crofts, 841-34X
Top Five Overall – F-TR
Phillip Kelley Jr., 838-35X
Ellis Berry, 837-42X
Niklas Montin, 836-35X
Peter Johns, 835-36X
Edward Shelley, 832-33X
Top Five Overall – Sling
Allen Thomas, 844-37X
Oliver Milanovic, 843-45X
Trudie Fay, 842-32X
Nancy Tompkins, 840-43X
Angus McLeod, 840-43X

View Complete SWN Match Results on McMillan Facebook Page »

Berger Southwest Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Capstone

The Berger SW Nationals are made possible through the principal support of Berger Bullets and Lapua, both part of the Capstone Precision Group, which also distributes Vihtavuori powder and SK Ammunition in the USA. Berger and Lapua both generously donated product prizes for 2018 SWN competitors.

Berger Southwest Nationals Berger Lapua Capstone

Today’s Champions… And Tomorrow’s New Talent

Here is the Sling Winner, Allen Thomas, with Bill Gravatt, President of Capstone Precision Group. (Bill was formerly the President of Sinclair International).

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Bob Sebold, of Team Lapua/Brux/Borden also won the individual F-Class SWN Title. He’s definitely one of the nation’s top F-Open pilots.

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

There were a dozen or so talented juniors competing at the Berger SW Nationals. Some of the youngsters posted scores that would put the “old guys” to shame. We definitely expect to see some of these young shooters standing on the podium at future Berger SWN events. We asked them to strike a “cool pose” and the Harris boys delivered…

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Berger SW Nationals Gallery — Parting Shots

Does this competitor know something we don’t know. Perhaps he is testing a new “Stealth” rifle stock from McMillan. Or maybe this is some kind of Zen body/mind melding practice. We do advocate “dry firing”, but that normally involves holding a real rifle…

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Look carefully and you’ll see quite a lot reflected in this SWN competitor’s shooting eyewear. Can you identify the type of rifle?

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Michelle Gallagher — She’s probably smiling at an ‘X’ — or maybe she just nailed a tough wind call. The SW Nationals is a great event because of the hard work and dedication of talented folks like Michelle.

Berger Southwest Nationals Ben Avery Phoenix Capstone

Can you name all the pieces of hardware in this image? We see at least a dozen. Don’t forget the little items like the bubble level and mirage shield.

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

How do you anchor a SEB MINI coaxial rest in under ten seconds? With MAXI feet of course! These over-size hooves belong to shooter Mark Fairbairn, a very tall, MAXI-sized Australian. Who needs to pound those F-Class feet into the ground with a mallet when you can simply “stand and deliver”.

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

We think some competitors came to Ben Avery just for the great Barbecue lunches — well that plus the great weather and the amazing prize table. Everyone goes home a winner in one way or another.

Berger Southwest Nationals food barbecue BBQ

Texas gunsmith Richard King showed us the biggest rifle action we’ve ever seen. This 13-lb monster is the BAT .50 BMG Action. Honestly it was HUGE — with the bolt fully extended it was the size of your forearm (to the finger tips). Richard joked “This weighs almost as much as an F-TR rifle (before optic) all by itself”.

Berger Southwest Nationals Bill Gravatt Capstone

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, News 3 Comments »
February 12th, 2018

How to Properly Clean Your Reloading Dies

Hornady Die cleaning

After purchasing a new set of dies from Forster, Hornady, Redding, or Whidden Gunworks, you’ll want to disassemble the dies, inspect then, and then remove the internal grease and/or waxy coatings placed on the dies by the manufacturer. Here are two video that show how to de-grease and clean dies as they come “out of the box” from the manufacturer. In the first video, from Creedmoor Sports, Bill Gravatt shows various methods for cleaning dies both when new and after they have accumulated carbon and lube after use. This video is definitely worth watching. In the second video, a Hornady technician shows the method for degreasing dies before first use. A convenient aerosol spray cleaner is used in the video. You an also use a liquid solvent with soft nylon brush, and cotton patches. NOTE: After cleaning you may want to apply a light grease to the external threads of your dies.

Creedmoor Sports Die Cleaning Video with Bill Gravatt

Hornady Video Showing Aerosol Cleaner

Clean Your Sizing Dies and Body Dies Regularly
These same techniques work for cleaning dies after they have been used for reloading. Many otherwise smart hand-loaders forget to clean the inside of their dies, allowing old case lube, gunk, carbon residue, and other contaminants to build up inside the die. You should clean your dies fairly often, particularly if you do not tumble or ultrasound your cases between loadings. It is most important to keep full-length sizing and body dies clean. These dies accumulate lube and carbon residue quickly.

Permalink - Videos, Reloading 1 Comment »
February 12th, 2018

Bargain Finder 125: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. GunPrime — 6.5 Creedmoor Ruger Precision Rifle, $983.00

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor PRS production class

Ruger Precision Rifle, 6.5 Creedmoor, $983.00 complete — what’s not to like? If you’ve been thinking of purchasing a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, here’s the best deal we’ve found in recent months. Right now Gunprime.com is offering this poular tactical rig for under $1000.00, in the high-demand 6.5 Creedmoor chambering. Heck of a bargain boys — you can pay $1300 or more elsewhere for the same rifle. This is a good choice for the PRS production class, or you can take in to another level of performance with a Pre-Fit 26″ cut-rifled barrel from Krieger. This is the lastest RPR Gen 2 version with the upgraded handguards.

NOTE: CDNN also has the RPR Gen 2 in 6mm Creedmoor for $899.99. That price, which includes rings, is the lowest we’ve ever seen for a Gen 2 model.

2. B&H — Kowa TSN-501 20-40X Angled Spotting Scope, $299.00

B&H Kowa TSN 501 Compact spotting scope bargain 20-40X

You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Kowa TSN-501 Angled Spotting Scope is listed at $349.00 from B&H Photo. But, you can actually buy this Spotter for $299.00 — B&H just can’t advertise it that low. They list $349.00 but you get another $50 discount when you put it in the shopping cart: SEE REAL PRICE HERE. That’s a heck of a deal. This is a super-compact scope with 50mm objective and built-in 20-40X eyepiece. Though relatively new, the small, light-weight TSN-501 can perform basic spotting tasks effectively. This doesn’t have the resolution of the $1500+ spotters but this is fine for viewing mirage and shot markers. Put the money you save into barrels and bullets.

3. CDNN — Winchester XPR Hunting Rifle, $264.99 After Rebate

Winchester XPR discount hunting rifle rebate

We like the Winchester XPR as an affordable, entry-level hunting rifle. The three-lug bolt has a short throw, the mags seat easily and a wide range of chamberings are available. Right now CDNN is offering the XPR for just $339.99. That’s a great price, but it gets even better. Winchester is offering a $75.00 factory rebate, lowering your net cost to just $264.99. That’s less than you’ll pay for a new custom barrel! The $75 Rebate applies to any NEW Winchester XPR rifle purchased from February 1 through March 31, 2018. For more info, visit rebates.winchesterguns.com.

4. Amazon — Howard Leight Electronic Muffs, $35.99

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Muffs hearing protection Howard Leight earmuffs sale bargain

Every shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs, even if you prefer shooting with earplugs and/or standard muffs. Electronic muffs are great when you are doing spotting duties or are working near the firing line. They allow you to hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. Right now Amazon.com has the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs on sale for just $35.99, with free Prime Shipping. This is good deal — these NRR 22 muffs are currently Amazon’s #1 seller in the category.

5. Hornady — Advanced 4DOF Mobile Ballistic App, FREE

Hornady Free Ballistic App


GET Apple iOS Version HERE | GET Android OS Version HERE

Hornady Ballistic Ballistics App Mobile 4DOF degrees of freedom aerodynamic jump Android Apple iOSHornady offers a FREE Ballistic Calculator App for iOS (Apple) and Android OS. This new Mobile Ballistic App includes Hornady’s advanced 4DOF™ calculator as well as a standard BC (ballistic coefficient) calculator. The Hornady Ballistic Calculator App is Bluetooth-enabled so it can communicate with select wind meters.

The Hornady Ballistic App is FREE but you do need to supply an email address. We found the App downloaded quickly and installed easily. While the Mobile Ballistic App is new, Hornady has offered a web-based online 4DOF Ballistic App since August 2016.

6. Amazon — Jiallite Scope Bubble Level, $11.99

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

If you shoot long range, you need a scope level. This nicely designed Jiallite Scope Bubble Level is fully CNC-machined to close tolerances for a good fit. It features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product — almost all verified buyers have rated this five stars.

7. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $16.85

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With over 3000 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $16.85, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

8. AmmoFast — Federal .22 LR 40gr Rimfire Ammo, $1.99/box

Federal .22 LR rimfire lead RN ammo ammunition discount

The good ol’ days of inexpensive rimfire ammo are back! We’ve seen .22 LR prices drop significantly in the last 12 months. And now we can report a new low — the lowest price in years for American-made, name-brand .22 LR ammo. Right now you can buy 50-round boxes of Federal .22 LR ammo for just $1.99! You read that right — under two bucks for fifty rounds of Federal .22 LR 40gr LRN. That works out to four cents per round. This offer is limited to 10 boxes per customer. Check Wikiarms.com for other great .22 LR ammo deals.

9. Amazon — 630 1″-Diameter Target Spots, $9.65 Delivered

Amazon target dots discount free shipping sight-in target

We use 1″-diameter Target Spots for sight-in and practice at 100-300 yards. These bright red/orange self-adhesive dots are easy to see. At 100 yards the high-contrast black diamond centers provide precise aiming points. We found this 10-pack of target spots on Amazon at a rock-bottom price. You get 630 total stick-on dots for just $9.65 with FREE Shipping. You can also get 360 Birchwood Casey 1″ dots from Midsouth for just $3.15, but shipping is extra. If you’re already ordering something from Midsouth, you may want to add the dots to your order.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals 2 Comments »
February 11th, 2018

Berger SW Nationals 2018 — Hail the Champions

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

Today was the final day of the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN). Two 1000-yard individual matches were scheduled. But the weather gods did not cooperate. Sunday matches were cancelled due to high, gusty winds from the North-Northeast that made it very difficult to handle the large, wood target frames. With concern for the safety of pit workers, match organizers waited until 10:00 am, then canceled the matches. It was a disappointment for some, but all the competitors still enjoyed a great week at Ben Avery.

With the cancellation of Sunday matches, the three individual champions — Sling Division, F-TR, and F-Open have been decided based on the Friday and Saturday results. We congratulate the three new Champions: Bob Sebold (F-Open), Phillip Kelley Jr. (F-TR), and Allen Thomas (Sling).

Top Five Overall – F-Open
Bob Sebold, 843-49X
Keith Glasscock, 843-38X
Jay Christopherson, 841-45X
Stephen Potter, 841-37X
James Crofts, 841-34X
Top Five Overall – F-TR
Phillip Kelley Jr., 838-35X
Ellis Berry, 837-42X
Niklas Montin, 836-35X
Peter Johns, 835-36X
Edward Shelley, 832-33X
Top Five Overall – Sling
Allen Thomas, 844-37X
Oliver Milanovic, 843-45X
Trudie Fay, 842-32X
Nancy Tompkins, 840-43X
Angus McLeod, 840-43X

Team matches concluded yesterday, Saturday. In team competition, Team Lapua/Brux/Borden won the F-Open Division, while Team McMillan finished first in F-TR Division. In the Sling Division, Team USA National Hayes topped the field. Congratulations to the winning teams.

View Complete SWN Match Results on McMillan Facebook Page »

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

Berger SW Nationals

Wicked Winds on Saturday Challenged Competitors
Saturday’s weather was not kind to shooters. Along with cloudy skies came wind — lots of it. The wind was veering, and gusty — with significant changes in velocity. It was hard to predict the cycles — if they could be called that. Erratic was more like it. Many shots were out in the 7 and 8 rings. One champion-level shooter told us: “That was ugly — I got my clock cleaned”. Another shooter said “I ran out of paper to hold off”. At one point, Team Lapua/Brux/Borden (LBB) waited over 30 minutes to take a shot, hoping to get into a steady condition. The patience paid off. Team LBB shooter Jay Christopherson’s final shot (after the long wait) was a 10.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Above is a view from a spotting scope during the 1000-Yard Team Match on Saturday. During the course of the day, there were many 7s and 8s showing on the targets. One competitor said “the wind was so bad, I was holding off the frame”.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Team Lapua/Brux/Berger shot great in tough conditions on Saturday to win the F-Open Team competition. Second from left is Jay Chistopherson, AccurateShooter.com’s System Administrator. When he’s not shooting, Jay works hard to keep our Shooter’s Forum and content sites running smoothly.

The team announced: “Team Lapua-Brux-Borden pulled off a major win today at Berger SW Natinols. Conditions were very challenging but our wind coach was able to keep up with the conditions. Our rifles shot very flat which allowed us to rack up points and Xs. We have a great team and amazing sponsors: Lapua, Brux Barrels, Borden Actions, Cerus Rifleworks. Team members: Jay Christopherson, Eric Cortina, Steve Harp, Tod Hendricks, Pat Scully, and Bob Sebold. Notably, Bob Sebold also won the 2018 Berger SWN Individual F-Open title, making him a double champion.

Eliseo Tubegun with Nightforce Competition scope. These versatile rifle chassis systems are produced by Competition Machine in Cottonwood, Arizona.
2016 Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Arizona AZ

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

There couldn’t be a match without the dedication of the folks who work the pits. At the Berger SWN, competitors did pit duty, ferried by trailers, and there were also some volunteers.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

They say behind every successful man is a good woman. Derek Rodgers, current F-TR World Champion, is no exception. His wife Hope Rodgers was on hand throughout the SWN to cheer on her husband.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

For many sling shooters, the Berger SWN is the second most important event of the year, right after the NRA Championships, held at Camp Perry (OH) and (now) Camp Atterbury (IN). Check out those patches.

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden

Industry Report — Berger, Lapua and Capstone Precision Group

Last year Berger Bullets was acquired by the Nammo Lapua Group. Berger Bullets, along with Lapua Products, SK Ammo, and Vihtavuori Powder, are now distributed in the USA by the Capstone Precision Group. Berger will continue to offer its full line of bullets, plus Berger-branded Ammunition (formerly ABM Ammo). Likewise Lapua will continue to offer its superb caftridge brass, plus Lapua’s full line of bullets and loaded Ammunition. In this video, Capstone’s Director Bill Gravatt explains how Capstone is working to expand the availability of Lapua and Berger products. In addition, Eric Stecker explains how Berger Bullets can increase production significantly, now that Berger is operating in the large Nammo/Lapua facility in Mesa, Arizona.

Today is the last day of the Berger Southwest Nationals. After the cancellation of Sunday’s 1000-yard matches due to high winds, this year’s 2018 SWN concluded with the Award Presentations. We watched as scores of medals — along with heaps of cash and Berger bullets — were handed out. AccurateShooter.com also awarded prestigious Corinthian awards to Nancy Tompkins (Sling) and Rick Jensen (F-Class).

Berger SW Nationals Team Lapua Brux Borden
Photo by Sherri Jo Gallagher.

Team McMillan was the top-performing F-TR squad at the Berger SW Nationals. The team includes many former members of the all-conquering Team Sinclair.

Berger SW Nationals Ben Avery Wind

Permalink - Videos, Competition, News 1 Comment »
February 11th, 2018

Bullet RPM and Drag — How BC Changes with Bullet Spin Rates

Bryan Litz bullet rpm BC Drag ballistics coefficient twist rate

You may not realize it… but to get the optimum BC from your bullets (i.e. the lowest aerodynamic drag), you must spin the bullets fast enough. Bullet drag increases (as expressed by lower BC) if the bullet spins too slowly. Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics explains how BC changes with twist rates…

More Spin, Less Drag
In this article, we look at how twist rate and stability affect the Ballistic Coefficient (BC) of a bullet. Again, this topic is covered in detail in the Modern Advancements book. Through our testing, we’ve learned that adequate spin-stabilization is important to achieving the best BC (and lowest drag). In other words, if you don’t spin your bullets fast enough (with sufficient twist rate), the BC of your bullets may be less than optimal. That means, in practical terms, that your bullets drop more quickly and deflect more in the wind (other factors being equal). Spin your bullets faster, and you can optimize your BC for best performance.

Any test that’s designed to study BC effects has to be carefully controlled in the sense that the variables are isolated. To this end, barrels were ordered from a single barrel smith, chambered and headspaced to the same rifle, with the only difference being the twist rate of the barrels. In this test, 3 pairs of barrels were used. In .224 caliber, 1:9” and 1:7” twist. In .243 caliber it was 1:10” and 1:8”, and in .30 caliber it was 1:12” and 1:10”. Other than the twist rates, each pair of barrels was identical in length, contour, and had similar round counts. Here is a barrel rack at the Applied Ballistics Lab:

Applied Ballistics used multiple barrels to study how twist rate affects BC.

stability gyroscopic ballistics coefficient drag twist rate

“The Modern Advancements series is basically a journal of the ongoing R&D efforts of the Applied Ballistics Laboratory. The goal of the series is to share what we’re learning about ballistics so others can benefit.” –Bryan Litz

Barrel twist rate along with velocity, atmospherics, and bullet design all combine to result in a Gyroscopic Stability Factor (SG). It’s the SG that actually correlates to BC. The testing revealed that if you get SG above 1.5, the BC may improve slightly with faster twist (higher SG), but it’s very difficult to see. However, BC drops off very quickly for SGs below 1.5. This can be seen in the figure below from Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting.

The chart shows that when the Gyroscopic Stability Factor (SG) is above 1.5, BC is mostly constant. But if SG falls below 1.5, BC drops off dramatically.
stability gyroscopic ballistics coefficient drag twist rate

Note that the BC drops by about 3% for every 0.1 that SG falls below 1.5. The data supports a correlation coefficient of 0.87 for this relationship. That means the 3% per 0.1 unit of SG is an accurate trend, but isn’t necessarily exact for every scenario.

It’s a common assumption that if a shooter is seeing great groups and round holes, that he’s seeing the full potential BC of the bullets. These tests did not support that assumption. It’s quite common to shoot very tight groups and have round bullet holes while your BC is compromised by as much as 10% or more. This is probably the most practical and important take-away from this test.

To calculate the SG of your bullets in your rifle, visit the Berger Bullets online stability calculator. This FREE calculator will show you the SG of your bullets, as well as indicate if your BC will be compromised (and by how much) if the SG is below 1.5. With the stated twist rate of your barrel, if your selected bullet shows an SG of 1.5 (or less), the calculator will suggest alternate bullets that will fully stabilize in your rifle. This valuable online resource is based directly on live fire testing. You can use the SG Calculator for free on the web — you don’t need to download software.

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February 11th, 2018

Range Kit Essentials — 12 Handy Items for Days at the Range

Range Kit Gear shellholder safety dozen essentials

The shooting season is now in full swing. When you head to the range you’ll want to be prepared. That means collecting all the gear you’ll need at the range. It’s easy to forget small, critical items, so we’ve provided a checklist of the small “extras” you should pack before you head out to the range. In addition to rifle, rests, ammo, targets, and cleaning gear, here are a dozen essentials you should include in your range bag.

Shell-Holder — If you don’t have calipers, you can use a shell-holder to check for excessive case expansion from hot loads. If a fired case doesn’t slip into the shell-holder easily, your load is definitely TOO HOT.

Extra Earplugs — Always use ear protection when shooting. We bring a 35mm film canister with extra sets of foam earplugs.

Hex Wrench or Screwdriver for action screws — Action screws can work loose with time. Always bring the appropriate hex wrench or screwdriver whenever you go to the range.

Small Wrench for Scope Rings — Check the tension of your scope base and ring fasteners before you go. Bring along a small Torx wrench for the ring screws (or other tool that fits your fasteners).

Normal and Under-sized Jags — It is often wise to use one-caliber undersize jags when applying solvent with cotton patches. You should have a couple sizes in your range kit.

Extra Batteries — Bring extra batteries for all your electronic gear — which can include chronograph, windmeter, digital camera, GPS etc.

Small Notebook and Pen or Pencil — Use the notebook to record chron data, log group sizes, and make notes about wind and weather conditions.

Adhesive dots — Bring a few sheets of adhesive dots (sold at office supply stores). Use small white or black dots as target pasters. Use larger red or orange dots as aiming points (target centers).

Folding Chair or Camp Stool — This comes in handy if you’re spotting for another shooter, or if you reload away from the firing line.

Water Bottle — You can’t shoot well if you’re dehydrated. Bring at least two quarts of water with you and keep a bottle at the bench.

Surveyors’ Tape and Wood Stakes — You can make inexpensive wind indicators using surveyors’ tape attached to the top of wood stakes.

Small Plastic Ruler — Use this to measure your group sizes. A transparent (see-through) ruler works best. Rulers are also useful for drawing lines on targets.

This list is not intended to be exclusive. There are many other items you may wish to include. Obviously bring safety glasses, and Sharpie-type pens are always handy to mark targets. We invite our readers to add other “essentials” to the list. The important thing is to plan ahead, packing your key items before you drive to the range.

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